Police solicitor ‘suggested Hillsborough officers’ evidence should be changed’

Players make their way back to the dressing rooms as fans lay dead and dying
Players make their way back to the dressing rooms as fans lay dead and dying
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A police solicitor suggested four officers should change evidence that the force was responsible for monitoring terraces on the day of the Hillsborough disaster, it has been claimed.

Details of the attempt emerged during evidence given to the inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans on April 15, 1989, by Stephen Sewell, who was liaison officer with Sheffield Wednesday for the force.

Christine Lambert QC, counsel to the inquests, said an approach was made in summer 1990 by force solicitor Peter Metcalf in relation to evidence Mr Sewell and others had given to the Taylor Inquiry about the monitoring of pens.

The fax from Mr Metcalf to senior police bosses said Mr Sewell and three other officers should give revised statements if needed to the Hillsborough inquiry team.

The draft format suggested that the group of officers could say the Taylor inquiry transcripts gave a ‘misleading impression’ and they did not expect colleagues to be assessing the numbers of supporters going into individual pens.

Mr Sewell said he had no recollection of being asked about the content of his evidence, in which he said that while monitoring the pens was the job of stewards, police would also monitor the filling of terraces from the control room and on the ground. He did not make any further statement and said he had not seen the draft statement from the solicitors before. He said he did not consider the evidence transcript to be misleading.